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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pastor John Hagee and John McCain's Tiff

Nadene Goldfoot
Pastor John Hagee had given his support to McCain, and has just been dropped by McCain over the past tapes of his sermons from Jeremiah 16 that say that the Holocaust came about to get the Jews to establish Israel and that G-d used Hitler to do it.

The fact is that Hertzl tried to get Jews there in the late 1800's and some followed him. It was hard work to live there, and the new immigrants were attacked many times while they farmed and tried to build settlements. The Jews that stayed in Europe were destined to die in the Holocaust. The lesson was that all should have gone to establish settlements in Israel. We just didn't have hindsight.

I got out my Tanakh (old testament) and started reading Jeremiah 16. I don't think my reading was the same as Pastor Hagee's. I couldn't find his references. To me, Jeremiah was telling the Jews of that day that they had followed other g-ds and ignored G-d and torah and that's why they have problems. It sounds like a good reason why we should stick to our own religion and not convert of other religions. Finally we will be brought back to Israel. Then some will tell us that it was stupid to believe the way our fathers did; that it was all futile to want to live in Israel.

 Finally, G-d's lesson is not to trust in people and make flesh and blood our strength and turn away from the one G-d. We need to trust in G-d. It goes on to say that the people will reply that they will do as they want and will follow their own ideas. Jeremiah didn't hate his people. He was trying to get them to straighten up and get back on track. Jeremiah, a later prophet in our history, was trying to get Jews away from worshipping idols in private and depending on the temple and feeling they didn't need to follow the torah and its rules of conduct. Then, Nebuchadnezzar had conquered and sacked Jerusalem, and the people felt G-d was angry with them. Jerusalem was destroyed and he was out of the dungeon that he had been locked up in, but he was free to see all his people being led away in captivity to Babylon. His prophecies came true, and were prophecies for that day. Seventy years later, the captives returned and started the 2nd Temple.

It seems that Pastor Hagee and I have a difference of opinion in understanding Jeremiah. I'm no Rabbi, and I know that Hagee does confer with one, who is mentioned in his 2007 book, In Defense of Israel. Hagee is writing to Christians, hoping to change their outlook about Jews and why they have a right to have Israel.

John McCain heard about the expose of Hagee calling into the above account as saying that Hitler was in the story as the hunter, hunting down Jews. Therefore he disengaged from Hagee.

To me, there really was no reference to the holocaust at all, though history does repeat itself many times. That's why we have to study history. We don't want to keep repeating the same old mistakes. Hagee is just trying to understand and explain the Holocaust to his listeners.

I feel that Hagee is a fantastic supporter of Israel. He has his own reasons, and I have mine. At least we're on the same highway and will help each other if one has a flat tire. Friends are hard to come by. I'll end with, Do NOT do unto others that which you not wish them to do to you.", which Victor reminds me was also spoken by Hillel.

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